Akron, Ohio – Some of the best collegiate and high schcool wrestlers from all over the country will congregate this weekend at the Louis and Freda Stile Athletics Field House at the University of Akron to wrestle Freestyle and Greco-Roman. High school wrestlers will be vying for a chance to win a UWW Cadet title and represent the United States at the 2015 Cadet World Championships in Bosnia and Herzegovina; all the while, collegiate wrestlers will be competing for a chance to be called a University National Champion.
The requirements to compete at the University Nationals are as follows: They must be students who are officially registered as proceeding towards a degree or diploma at a university or similar institute whose status is recognized by the appropriate national academic authority or ther country or be a former student of the institution mentioned above who have obtained their academic degree or diploma in the year preceding the event.
A small number of California athletes will be compiting in both Freestyle and Greco-Roman.
Walnut, CA – This forthcoming Saturday, the Mt. SAC wrestling team will be hosting the 1st Annual “Old Timers” Dual Meet Tournament; It’s the brainchild of Mt. SAC Coach David Rivera (2x NAIA national finalist) and his coaching staff.
“The idea of the tournament is to give a chance to those individuals whom still want to get on the wrestling mats and show their skills against other wrestlers who are also done with their collegiate career,” Said David Rivera.
Currently, there are 12 teams made up of former wrestlers who were California state qualifiers, medal winners, and state champions. Many went on to excel at the collegiate level by becoming All-Americans and national qualifiers.
There will be two pools of five teams with the top team of each pool wrestling in the finals for the overall team title (using folkstyle rules).
Teams as far as San Fernando Valley to San Bernardino will be represented in this event featuring several athletes eager and ready to win a team title with their respective teams.
“We hope to have a great day and come out of the tournament with the team title,” Said Mt. SAC Assistant Coach Caleb Flores (Team Northview Grapplers).
All Assets gathered from the tournament will go to the Mt. SAC wrestling team to help support the program next season.
PARTIAL LIST OF WRESTLERS COMPETING THIS WEEKEND
Caleb Flores – Northview HS (S)/Northern Iowa (Division I National Qualifier)
David Bonilla – Northview HS (S)/Mt. SAC/Lindenwood Univ. (2x JC State Champion/NAIA All-American)
James Medeiros – American HS (NC)/Fresno St (2x Division I Qualifier)
Michael Lopez – Bell HS (LA)/Menlo College (2x NAIA National Qualifier)
Vlad Kochiev – Birmingham HS, LA (CIF State Medalist/Fargo All-American – FS)
Tim Hawkins – Arroyo HS (S)/Mt. SAC (2x JC State Champion)
Thomas Cottrell – Chatsworth HS (LA)/CS Bakersfield (2x CIF State Qualifier)
Ruben Pvaral – Bell HS (LA)/East LA College (JC All-American)
Shad Manigault – Northview HS (California State Champion)
Robert Dominguez – Northview HS (S)/Lindenwood University (CIF State Qualifier)
Sean Prentice – Rosemead HS (S)/Rio Hondo College (JC All-American)
Jose Hernandez – Bell HS (LA)/CS Fullerton (2x LA Section Medalist)
Team Champions Hungary
Concord, CA – After two days of rigorous wrestling competition at the Concord Youth Center in Northern California, team Hungary won the event by going 7-0 in the tournament. Team Scandinavia finished 2nd, while the Vikings of Sweden finished in 3rd place. Team USA, which was made up of wrestlers from all over the United States, finished 4th in the competition. Other teams in the competition included team California, Concord Youth Center, team Oregon and team Roseburg from Oregon.
1-Hungary 7-0. 2-Scandinavia 6-1, 3-Vikings (Sweden) 4-3, 3-USA 4-3, 4-Oregon 3-4, 5-CYC 2-5, 6-Roseburg (Oregon) 1-6, 7-California 0-7
Team Vikings (Sweden)
108 lbs. – 49kg.
1st– Liam Cronin (USA)
2nd – Istvan Vancza (Hungary)
3rd – Chase Zollman (California)
115 lbs. – 52.5 kg.
1st – Vilmos Varga (Hungary)
2nd – Mason Hartshorn (California)
3rd – Timmy Skiöld (Vikings)
123 lbs. – 56 kg.
1st – Erik Torba (Hungary)
2nd– Dalton Roberts (USA)
3rd – Anton Rosen (Scandinavia)
130 lbs. – 59 kg.
1st – Robin Vilenius (Vikings)
2nd – Andrew Ibarra (USA)
3rd – Donovin Guerrero (CYC)
138 lbs. – 63 kg.
1st – Tamás Levai (Hungary)
2nd – Alexander Bica (Scandinavia)
3rd – Abdul Aziz (Vikings)
145 lbs. – 66 kg.
1st – Tamas Lakatos (Hungary)
2nd – Elias Peterson (Viking)
3rd – Albin Olofsson (Scandinavia)
154 lbs. – 70 kg.
Third: Avto Gigolashvilli (VIK)
Second: Balázs SZÉL (HUN)
First: Layne VanAnrooy (ROS)
163 lbs. – 74.5 kg.
1st – Zoltan Levai (Hugary)
2nd – Riley Jaramillo (Oregon)
3rd – Zaurbek Nuriev (Viking)
174 lbs. – 79 kg.
1st – Emil Johansson (Scandinavia)
2nd – Jakob Lofgård (Viking)
3rd – Aaron Cash (USA)
190 lbs. – 86.5 kg.
1st – Oskar Meggerle (Scandinavia)
2nd – Haydn Maley (Oregon)
3rd – Davit Stepanyan (USA)
217 lbs. – 98.5 kg.
1st – Tracy Hancock (USA)
2nd – Ferenc Almansi (Hungary)
3rd – Kristian Nielsen (Viking)
285 lbs. – 125 kg.
1st – Johan Gustavsson (Scandinavia)
2nd – Mihály Nagy (Hungary)
3rd – Jacob Yruegas (Oregon)
California vs USA (7-46)
Scandinavia vs Oregon (31-23)
Vikings (Sweden) vs Roseburg,Oregon (46-10)
Hungary vs CYC (42-6)
CYC vs Roseburg (39-17)
California vs Scandinavia (14-39)
Oregon vs USA (22-31)
Hungary vs Vikings (44-13)
Hungary vs Roseburg (46-16)
CYC vs Oregon (27-29)
California vs Vikings (11-39)
Scandinavia vs USA (30-26)
Oregon vs California (49-3)
USA vs Roseburg (47-8)
Vikings vs CYC (43-5)
Scandinavia vs Hungary (8-41)
USA vs Vikings (22-30)
Scandinavia vs CYC (34-13)
Oregon vs Hungary (15-39)
Roseburg vs California (39-16)
Vikings vs Scandinavia (25-30)
Roseburg vs Oregon (13-41)
California vs Hungary (10-49)
USA vs CYC (35-19)
CYC vs California (45-12)
Roseburg vs Scandinavia (20-38)
Vikings vs Oregon (25-31)
USA vs Hungary (19-33)
Mia with her parents Ruben and Laura Leon
By Pablo Di Maria
Being part of the Northview High School varsity wrestling team, situated in Covina, California, is an accomplishment by itself. The Vikings have been a powerhouse in the Southern Section and in the CIF state tournament since the sport of women’s wrestling was sanctioned in California in 2010. Since 2010, Northview has finished top 10 in the team standings every year, and won the state tournament for the first time in 2013. I had the opportunity to speak with one of their top girls in the middle weights, Mia Leon, about her wrestling accomplishments and her love for the sport of wrestling.
Northview wresting team accomplishments in the CIF state tournament
2015-2nd, 2014-2nd, 2013-1st, 2012-2nd, 2011-3rd, 2010-7th
TWC-Mia, how where you first introduce to the sport of wrestling?
Mia – I was first introduced to the sport of wrestling my freshman year at Gabrielino High School. At the time, I was in a soccer conditioning class and it was merged with the wrestling conditioning class because there was just a handful of wrestlers so we’d go and lift weights together. They (fellow students) began speaking about how I should try wrestling and how much fun it was. I’ve never even heard of wrestling until then, especially women’s wrestling, so I laughed and said no. Eventually, they convinced me to go to a night practice, and I’ve been wrestling ever since.
TCW- Is wrestling mentally challenging or physically challenging or both?
Mia – Wrestling is definitely both physically and mentally challenging. Especially when it comes to pushing yourself and your partner to the limit. Before each other’s matches, I and my practice partner would tell each other “If you don’t kick her butt, I’ll kick yours”. Practicing long and hard every day really does begin to put a strain on your whole body, but you have to be mentally strong to keep on persevering and obtain your goals.
TCW-Do you believe that female athletes are treated equally as their counterparts when it comes to the sport of wrestling?
Mia – At Northview the coaches and our alumni support the team and treat us just like the boy’s wrestling team. They hold us to the same high standards and expectations.
TCW-How intense are the practices at Northview with so much high school talent in the room?
Mia – The practices at Northview are extremely demanding and intense. Our coaches are so amazing, and the girls in there are so determined. We bring the best out of each other in practice, “Iron sharpens iron,” and I’ve experienced the delight of having great drilling partners like Katie Auxier, Daisy Velasquez, and Candy Molina.
TCW-What are you presently doing to improve your technique and gain a state title next year?
Mia – Right now I’m trying to get as much mat time in as possible with anyone that’ll wrestle me, guy or girl. Even if it means getting my butt handed to me a couple of times. Concentrating on the basics and perfecting the little matters are huge right now, I’d rather perfect four moves than learn twenty new ones.
TCW-Are you planning on competing in college? And if so, are you being recruited at the moment?
Mia – I definitely plan on competing in college and I am extremely excited to move on to that new level of wrestling. I’ve been in touch with a few college coaches, but nothing’s for sure yet, I’m still researching my options.
TCW-What makes California such a tough state when it comes to women’s wrestling?
Mia – I believe it is our technique and great mat awareness. Here in California we tend to be more aggressive and be in your face the entire wrestling match. Also, our great coaches. We have many quality coaches that started in the high school level and now are coaching in the WCWA like Travis Mercado at King University and Donnie Stephens at the University of the Cumberland’s.
TCW- Who has been your toughest opponent in high school?
Mia – My toughest opponent in high school would have to be Angelica Ochoa (Sierra Vista High School), we’ve had close matches, and others where she just straight out beat me. She’s talented and a great sport, I hope to wrestle her again in college.
TCW- What are your future endeavors on the mat and in life?
Mia – I plan on wrestling throughout college while majoring in child psychology. After graduating from college, I’d like to come back and work in Covina, and help coach part time the girls’ team at Northview.
TCW-Would you like to mention something unique about you that people don’t know?
Mia – A lot of people don’t know this, but I’m ready to come clean, hopefully, this will help others talk about their own experiences. I’m deathly afraid of butterflies, I have no idea why, but ever since I could remember, they would always give me the creeps. Even to this day I the 5’9, 150-pound wrestler, can’t even go near one.
By Pablo Di Maria
Placentia, California – For the majority of Americans, Memorial Day is a special occasion to honor our fallen heroes that have lost their lives in combat. Numerous households will be filled with barbeques, family gatherings, picnics. . . And also the occasion to get away from the normal monotonous of the work week. For others, it’s the start of summer, a time to look towards the pleasant days in sunny Southern California.
However, for those hardcore wrestling fans in the state of California, it is a three-day weekend to relax and enjoy high school and middle school wrestling at El Dorado High School.
Host school El Dorado High School will be hosting the sixth annual SCWAY America’s Cup from May 23-24. The 12 team dual meet tournament includes wrestlers from the state of Idaho and local talent from all over California. The America’s Cup looks to showcase talented competitors; some of the wrestlers have major credentials like being Fargo All-Americans, Flo Nationals place winners, NHSCA place winners or being state champions in their respective state.
Team Idaho won this event last year by defeating an all-star squad from California, 28-27. That loss is still engraved in the minds of many California fans that are optimistic that this year’s team will bring back the title to the Golden State.
“Last year’s lost to Idaho was unexpected.” Said wrestling fan Joe Martinez “But that’s what I love about the SCWAY organization, they bring the best kids to our state and we must step up and accept the challenge. In this type of events, all egos must be thrown out the window and be ready to wrestle. There is no easy matches here.”
Obviously, is not guarantee that the teams from California will be the favorites to defeat Team Idaho this weekend; team “A” from Idaho will come in full thrust with their top stars to reclaim their title. All but three wrestlers from team Idaho were state champions in the biggest state classification in their respective state.
A mixture of wrestlers from some of the top-notch schools in the Golden State like Clovis, Buchanan, Poway, Rancho Bernardo, Pitman, Oakdale, Modesto and many Southern California teams will be in attendance.
Sunday is expected to be filled with some of the top middle school wrestlers that the state of California has to offer.
Action is expected to begin at 8 A.M and be concluded by 3 P.M. both Saturday and Sunday.
Wrestlers Committed to wrestler in college that will be wrestling this weekend:
120 lbs. Dorian Sapien from Borah, ID. – Clackamas Community College (NJCAA)
126 lbs. Drake Foster from Post Falls, ID. – University of Wyoming (Div. I)
131 lbs. Justin Mejia from Clovis High School – University of Iowa’ 17 (Div. I)
152 lbs. Taylor Owens from Borah, ID. – Boise State (Div. I)
152 lbs. Nigel Ruiz from Bishop Amat High School – Army (Div. I)
165 lbs. Kenneth Moore from Hoover High School – Grand Canyon University (Div. I)
182 lbs. Seth McLeod from Post Falls, ID. – Boise State (Div. I)
182 lbs. Josh Hokit from Clovis High School – Drexel’16 (Div. I)
195 lbs. John Hensley from Meridian, ID. – Boise State (Div. I)
And many more whose names weren’t given at the time of writing this article.
*Disclaimer – teams or individuals may or may not wrestle in the event. Unfortunately, many circumstances may occur that could stop teams and or individuals from attending the event.
Kenneth Moore with his CIF state bracket inside Rabobank Arena
By Pablo Di Maria
San Diego, CA – The future looks bright for Coach Jon Sioredas and coaching staff in the middle weights for Grand Canyon University after the acquisition of Hoover High, Kenneth Moore. A very talented and charismatic wrestler on and off the wrestling mats, Kenneth will become the first member of his family to attend a 4-year institution.
“I can’t wait to attend GCU and become a future National Champion and get my degree in Kinesiology.” Said Kenneth “I really hope to become a trainer or physical therapist after my wrestling days are over.”
Kenneth made history this season for Hoover High School by becoming the school’s first ever state medal winner. He also became the fifth San Diego Section City wrestler to place at the CIF California state tournament since 2004. Nevertheless, his first love entering high school wasn’t the sport of wrestling, his heart belonged to the sport of Football. As a sophomore, he made the varsity squad as an outside linebacker, but his success on the mats made him trade in his cleats and helmet for wrestling shoes and a headgear.
“It was a tough decision, but till this day I don’t regret doing that.”
Kenneth finished top 12 in the state tournament as a junior after placing 2nd in the San Diego Section at 160 pounds. His achievements as a junior didn’t go unnoticed as many colleges like the University of Wyoming, Cal State Bakersfield, Cal Poly and many smaller colleges were eager to obtain his services in college.
“When I first met Coaches Sioredas, Stith and Ellis at Reno TOC after my semifinals match, they were very humorous and fun to be around and talk to. However, I also got the impression that they were determined to rebuild GCU and become a powerhouse in college wrestling. The coaches were completely honest with me and told me the amount of work it would require to acquire my goal of becoming a D1 National Champion. GCU felt like home more than any other college and with the scholarship they offered me it made my offer so much easier.”
Kenneth placed fourth in the state of California at 160 pounds and beat many talented wrestlers along the way; he will be expected to compete in the 165-pound weight class in college. His road to securing the spot at 165 pounds at GCU will begin by challenging a 4-time Washington State champion (Bobby Reese) and Three-time Washington state medal winner (Casey Larson).
Kenneth knows it will be a hard challenge to experience the same success as he had in high school. Nevertheless, with his dedication and loyalty to the sport of wrestling, the sky is the limit for the San Diego wrestler.
Kenneth wrestling Sam Loera from Bakersfield in the CIF state tournament
2015 ASICS ALL-AMERICANS – CALIFORNIA
106 – Cade Olivas – St. John Bosco (S) FIRST TEAM
182 – Zahid Valencia – St. John Bosco (S) FIRST TEAM
170 – Anthony Valencia – St. John Bosco (S) SECOND TEAM
113 – Justin Mejia – Clovis (C) THIRD TEAM
126 – Israel Saavedra – Modesto (SJ) Honorable Mention
California ASICS All-Americans since 1986
Andrew Tausch in the center holding the team trophy
By Pablo Di Maria
Poway, CA. – Fresh of a stellar career at Poway high School, 2015 state place winner Andrew Tausch, has decided to attend and wrestle for Coach Josh Rhoden at Clackamas Community College in Oregon City, Oregon.
Tausch, a three-time CIF state qualifier, finished the postseason with a second place finished at the San Diego Masters, and sixth at the state tournament to help the Titans take second as a team in the state tournament.
“Not everyone gets the opportunity to compete in college. I feel very blessed to get the opportunity to attend CCC as they got a great wrestling program.” Said Andrew “I truly love the campus and the way they work hard to be contenders every year for the NJCAA title.”
The Clackamas wrestling coaches have a strong recruiting pipeline in the state of California. Their roster has numerous athletes from the Golden State and surrounding state’s; many of their wrestlers go on to compete in the Division I and II level after finishing their schooling at CCC.
“I plan to study fitness technology at CCC, and then transfer to the University of Iowa and compete for the Hawkeyes.”
The Poway Titans, coached by California Hall of Fame member, Wayne Branstetter, are usually state contenders every season with all the great talent they have in the wrestling room. Many of their wrestlers go on to have great college careers.
“Wrestling at Poway was a blessing, God put me in that location for a cause. It feels amazing to be a part of one of the best teams in the state of California and in the country.”
The Cougars of Clackamas Community College finished second in the 2015 NJCAA Individual tournament, but won their second consecutive back-to-back NJCAA National Team Duals.